Much to my surprise one of my favorite sites to find cutting-edge ideas on the markets and the economy is on a weekly Sunday program on StockTwits, a Twitter spinoff for market watchers. It’s hard to believe that the micro-blog can provide fast-forward ideas on big ideas about inflation and deflation, monetary policy, and what the California cash crisis means. But it does. This week, I wrote about the MacroTwits hour for Barron’s (subscription needed) and explain how the conversation is rich with data, insights, and humor.
“I’m still surprised that you can build a well-developed conversation using 140-character tweets,” says moderator Gregor Macdonald, who’s also the Amherst, Mass.-based publisher of the energy newsletter Gregor.us Monthly. Participants gather from all over the world — Mumbai, Beijing, London, New York — enriching the discussion and often anticipating trends.
Macdonald has a specialty in the energy markets, but also leads participants through sophisitcated discussions about the global flow of money in and out of the credit and stock markets and fundamental issues influencing growth and consumption. It’s a real tour de force.
It’s easy to set up a StockTwits account to be part of the conversation; if you already have a Twitter account you can use that login to acess the site. And if you’re not expert in markets, don’t be shy about tuning in to the program, which runs from 9 pm to 10 pm ET. Unlike the shoutfest at CNBC, MacroTwits is civil: Participants may be fierce about their points of view but are patient with newcomers. However, you may want to set up a tab on your browser for answers.com or investopedia.com to stay on top of the jargon.